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Agriculture

Provincial Government gets crackin’ on support for “Poultry” technicians

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  • From the Province of Alberta

    New Green Certificate Program for students

    The province is adding another option to Alberta’s Green Certificate Program (GCP) so students have more opportunities to learn about careers in agribusiness.

    Poultry technician joins the list of programs already being offered through the GCP and funded through a partnership between Alberta Education and Agriculture and Forestry. Other courses include:

    • beekeeper production technician
    • cow-calf beef production technician
    • dairy production technician
    • equine technician
    • feedlot beef production technician
    • field crop production technician
    • greenhouse technician
    • irrigated field crop production technician
    • sheep production technician
    • swine production technician

    “Our government is excited to expand this important program, as it provides real-life, hands-on learning for students who work on a farm or for students interested in the agriculture industry. The program helps students to develop the confidence, skills and knowledge they need for their future.”

    David Eggen, Minister of Education
    IMG_0105

    Minister Eggen visits Ethan Meyer (16 years old), owner of Ethan’s Eggs, to announce the poultry technician option being added to Alberta’s Green Certificate Program.

    The Green Certificate Program provides opportunities for students to develop the confidence, skills and knowledge they need for careers in the agricultural industry. It fosters employability skills that support the development of a skilled and educated workforce.

    “This program is great for rural Alberta, our communities and our kids. It provides opportunities for youth to see training close to home and helps to develop the leaders the industry needs. Expanding this program means even more choices for students to explore career options in agriculture. We are committed to supporting families by improving growth in rural programs and the agricultural industry.”

    Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

    The program was well received by the agriculture industry, but schools identified that the single largest barrier to participation in the GCP was the course fees. As a result, the province is investing up to $400,000 annually to cover the course fees for students enrolled in the program.

    “As a high school student with a small business, I don’t have time to work a part-time job like my friends. It’s tough to get the same work experience credits they do, and the Green Certificate Program can help me get the credits I need to finish high school.”

    Ethan Meyer, owner, Ethan’s Eggs

    “We are happy to have been involved in the creation of the poultry technician program. Developing the skills and knowledge required of the poultry sector will attract and educate youth, fostering a thriving, sustainable poultry industry in Alberta.”

    Jeff Kamlah, chair, Alberta Turkey Producers

    “Development of the poultry technician specialization for the Green Certificate Program is important because it gives students an opportunity to get involved with the actual workings of the poultry industry. The GCP provides opportunities for students to become knowledgeable and skilled and to gain practical experience, which will make them valuable employees or farmers in the poultry sector. We look forward to having them join our industry.”

    Jesse Hunter, producer services and programs, Alberta Hatching Egg Producers

    “Adding poultry technician to the Green Certificate Program fills a critical gap in the program and provides an enhanced training path for our future broiler farmers and farm technicians. We recognize the incredible efforts of those driving the development of this program and were happy to have been involved in the process.”

    Robert Renema, producer programs manager, Alberta Chicken Producers

    “Egg Farmers of Alberta endorses the Green Certificate Program, which was designed to benefit both students and the agriculture industry. Having farmers involved in the actual curriculum development helps ensure students will be gaining relevant knowledge and learning skills that are highly applicable to the associated commodity. The inclusion of the poultry technician specialization will help increase the availability of qualified farm workers in Alberta by providing high-quality training of poultry industry best practices.”

    Christina Robinson, farm programs manager, Egg Farmers of Alberta

    Backgrounder

    • The GCP was developed by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry in 1975 as a way to address labour market needs for Alberta’s agriculture sector.
    • On average, more than 750 students participate in the GCP each year.
    • Like the Registered Apprenticeship Program, each of the Green Certificate specializations provides students with access to the first level of an agricultural-like apprenticeship.
    • The GCP provides students with opportunities to enter a variety of agriculture-related, structured learning pathways as a part of their senior high school program and to earn a credential leading to a career in agribusiness.
    • Students learn on the job, under the direction of experienced farm personnel and under the supervision of teachers.


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    Ag Politics

    WATCH: When Boycotts Don’t Work

    knowideasmedia

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  • What do you do when you want to boycott something, but can’t?

    This video is a co-production. Ryan Tipps at Ag Daily and Nick Saik worked on this piece together.  It’s about what can happen when bitten by a particular nasty little tick.  This tick, the “Lone Star” tick, has saliva that triggers an immune response reprogram in humans.  This in turn triggers an allergy to all types of red meat, such as beef, lamb and pork. In Nick’s words:

    “He’s written an excellent article that you can checkout here: https://www.agdaily.com/insights/when… Heads Up: I use a political analogy in this video. It’s not meant to rile anyone up, it just seemed like a good way to explain my point. I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you fall on, it was just an analogy….”

    This video was produced independently by Know Ideas Media


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    Agriculture

    Feds’ plan for neonicotinoids makes little sense, environment groups say

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  • OTTAWA — Environment groups are calling out Canada’s approach to assessing pesticides after seven years of reviews led Health Canada to simultaneously decide to allow certain popular products to keep being used with restrictions, and to propose banning the same products from outdoor uses altogether.

    The Pest Management Regulatory Agency on Thursday released its final decision on what limits should be placed on a category of nicotine-based pesticides known as neonicotinoids to keep them from killing bees. Starting in two years, the pesticides won’t be allowed to be sprayed at all on certain crops like apples and tree nuts and there will be limited times when they can be sprayed on many others, like tomatoes, eggplants and berries.

    Products that have no alternatives are given an extra year before they are affected by the decision.

    The agency said the risks the products pose to bees in other applications, such as pre-treating seeds, are acceptable and only require new labels to warn of the dangers. Most of Canada’s canola and corn crop seeds are pre-treated with neonicotinoids, along with about half the country’s soybean seeds.

    However, this decision, which won’t begin to take effect until 2021, will likely be overridden in less than a year when the agency finalizes a separate assessment of the exact same products for their impact on aquatic insects. The agency found in 2016 that the most popular of the neonicotinoids was building up in ground and surface water and recommended banning it outright. It also launched a special assessment of the other two most common “neonics,” concluding in 2018 that they also needed to be banned.

    The very final decision on that won’t come until January 2020.

    “Right now this is strictly about the risk to pollinators and for this assessment not all uses pose an unacceptable risk to pollinators,” said Scott Kirby, the director general of the environmental-assessment division of the pest management agency.

    Lisa Gue, a senior researcher at the David Suzuki Foundation, said it is “disturbing” that the agency is continuing to allow neonicotinoids at all given that the agency’s scientists have concluded they cause unacceptable harm to any kinds of insects.

    “The decision-making process here is just incomprehensible and incoherent,” she said.

    Beatrice Olivastri, the executive director of Friends of the Earth Canada, said the agency’s fragmented approach to reviewing the products is “nonsensical.”

    Neonicotinoids are used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike to manage pests like aphids and spider mites. Scientists blame the chemicals for weakening bees, making them more susceptible to disease and bad weather.

    More than one-third of the world’s food crops require pollinators, like bees, for production.

    The European Union banned neonicotinoids at the end of last year after scientists concluded there was no safe way to use them without hurting bees. In 2017, a task force at the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated a compilation of more than 1,100 peer-reviewed research studies of neonicotinoids and concluded there was no doubt they harm bees.

    Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press



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